When my daughter was 2 years old, she had a friend who lived two doors down. The two would play “together” out in the driveway. After the third or fourth time playing together I realized that they barely interacted with each other and it seemed they still had a great time.
When we would get home, I’d ask my daughter, “did you have fun?” She would reply, “that was the best.” In my curiosity, I began to research this phenomenon. After a quick google search I came to realize this was normal.
In psychology, this is called parallel play. Parallel play is a form of play in which children play adjacent to each other, but do not try to influence one another’s behavior. Children usually play alone during parallel play but are interested in what other children are doing.
One of the most common forms of parallel play is when a family sits in the living room all on their devices, not interacting or influencing one another. Have you ever experienced this?
One of most common places this happens is the church. We sit in the same service, sing the same songs, listen to the same sermon and then we walk out and talk about the weather, our children, and how the New York Giants are going to win the Super Bowl this year. I have come to realize this too is normal.
Have you had someone intentionally pour into your life? This is the call Jesus has given from Matthew 28:19-20 “Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
Our command as New Testament believers is to make disciples. Disciples don’t appear this is an intentional process of pouring into the life of another. Discipleship is when you walk (in life) with an individual teaching them to find, follow, and become more like Jesus in every aspect and area of life.
Discipleship is life on life, this was the example Jesus gave us as for the three years he lived life with his 12 disciples.
Who are you living life with, in an intentional way to influence them to become more like Jesus? Is there someone God is putting on your heart you can begin to meet with for coffee? Who is the next generation behind you that you can train up?
I love walking with other men and pouring into their lives as we pursue what it means to be like Jesus in our culture and context.
Again, this is intentional, Aug. 4 and 25 two men that I have walked with who aren’t paid ministry leaders or staff are going to be preaching at Rome Alliance. I am so excited to see them grow and to help them discover what it means to follow Jesus through preaching.
I urge you to intentionally pour your life into someone else! If you want to talk more about what discipleship looks like I’d be happy to grab a cup of coffee with you. If your church is interested in a discipleship process, let’s chat! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.